If you are receiving certain state benefits you might have a responsibility to inform the relevant agency before you start volunteering.
Job Seekers Allowance
You can volunteer with us and still receive JSA provided that you:
- are still looking for paid work (eg applying for jobs, signing up with agencies and taking all other steps required by the Job Centre);
- are available for work for 40 hours each week (or less by agreement with the Job Centre if you have caring responsibilities);
- inform the Job Centre that you are volunteering;
- can take up work within a week and can attend an interview on 48 hours notice.
Although we ask you to volunteer with us for 6 months or more, we will obviously understand if you have to stop because you get a job!
We can help you by providing a standard letter to the DWP stating that you:
- only receive actual out-of-pocket expenses, no pay;
- can be contacted whilst volunteering with us if a job opportunity becomes available;
- can be available to attend an interview.
You should notify the relevant agency before starting at the bureau if you receive Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Employment Support Allowance, Severe Disablement Allowance, Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or Carers Allowance.
We can help you by providing a standard letter confirming:
- how many hours a week you volunteer for on average;
- that you only receive expenses, no pay;
- that your voluntary role is flexible and cannot be regarded as the same as paid work.
Some benefits that are not affected by volunteering and where the relevant agencies do not need to be informed at all. These include: State Retirement Pension, Pension Credit, Council Tax support, Housing Benefit, Statutory Maternity pay, Maternity Allowance, War Widow’s Pension and Widow’s Pension.
Unsure about your situation?
Ask us! We are pretty good at dealing with benefits questions 🙂
Go back to the Volunteer with Us page.